Protection Of Civilians
According to UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) civilian casualties from Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) operations increased in 2012, however ANSF leadership has been reluctant to acknowledge let alone take for responsibility for civilian casualties when they occur. Numbers of civilian casualties by ANSF may therefore be under-reported.

"All civilian casualties and destruction of civilian objects must be tracked and investigated, ANSF must also ensure timely and effective remedies for such acts".

Amnesty International said that the international coalition should accelerate efforts to assist the Afghan government to create an independent and effective mechanism to monitor and investigate civilian deaths and injuries proactively and provide full reparations.

The organization acknowledges some positive steps taken by the Afghan authorities since last year to investigate and mitigate civilian casualties and to protect civilians.

In March 2012 the government issued a presidential order directing all security forces to uphold Afghan laws, policies and procedures during the conduct of special operations. Two months later, it established the Civilian Casualties Tracking Team in the Presidential Information Coordination Centre and in October last year it appointed an advisor to President Karzai on the protection of civilians.

"Sadly, these measures are proving insufficient, judging by the surge in civilian casualties including by ANSF and the apparent disregard by its leadership."

On 18 June, President Hamid Karzai announced the fifth and final phase of security transition from international to Afghan forces. NATO/ISAF is now handing over control of the remaining 95 districts including Taliban stronghold areas in the south and east to the ANSF.

The NATO/ISAF military coalition will still be responsible for military air support as well as support in combat operations until the end of 2014, when it is due to withdraw all combat troops from the country completely.
Amnesty International, London

Against Privatization
The struggle of dismissed 1,047 national railway workers is now facing a showdown with the Japan Rainways (JR) Companies and the state power. The situation before workers is that the underlying facts and truth of the Division and Privatization of National Railways in 1987 is going to be fully exposed to the whole public by the unflinching struggle of the dismissed national railway workers for over 30 years.

On June 29 last year, the Tokyo District Court ruled that the discriminating dismissal of Doro-Chiba union members for their union affiliation as unfair labor practice as a result of the Division and Privatization of National Railways. The presiding judge Shiraishi was later transferred to an insignificant department apparently because of his judgment. On last May 8, the appellate proceeding of the case in question in the Tokyo High Court was abruptly concluded without enough discussion by the presiding judge Namba. The decision of the Tokyo High Court is expected on September 25. Let's fight to achieve withdrawal of the unjust dismissal as well as the recognition of unfair labor practice in the court for coming four months.

Abe Administration is desperately driving its policy of over-all privatization and outsourcing, destruction of employment and casualization, restart and export of nuclear power plants, constitutional revision and war. All of his attempts are, however, on the brink of catastrophe and collapse. His last resort is a brutal attack on working class by taking away jobs, social security and everything else from them. The present situation is going far beyond the limit. But it offers an excellent opportunity for the revival of militant labor movement by bringing about a fundamental change to the workers' consciousness and way of thinking. Fully aware of this critical development, the enemy class has begun an all-out offensive to eradicate national railway workers' struggle. Their underlying aim is overall casualization and their attack is now focused on public service workers.

The future of the entire Japanese workers' movement depends upon the development of national railway workers' struggle. The urgent task of Nationwide Movement of National Railway Struggle is to gather all the angry voices of working class and to stand on the forefront of the struggle for the revival of class struggle labor movement.

Railway workers have evidently given a terrible blow to the JR Companies by their struggle against rationalization and for rail safety, as was manifested by the struggle against outsourcing of JR East Company on October 1, 2012. A fresh phase of the struggle is already opened up to crash the renewed attack of outsourcing in the coming October.

For the victory of the struggle of dismissed 1,047 national railway workers for the reinstatement, it is imperative to promote and expand the Campaign of Hundred Thousand Signatures to support the dismissed 1,047 workers and sales of union goods in workplaces and communities.
Nationwide Movement of National Railway Struggle, Japan

Vol. 46, No. 2, Jul 21- 27, 2013

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